Many businesses fail to realize that conducting blogger outreach is not the same as conducting traditional media outreach and outreach strategies need to be adapted. Scoring a hit in USA Today is great, but the value in reaching out to bloggers and other influencers online continues to grow.
A free e-book from BlogDash [download here] provides solid guidance for successful blogger outreach. With BlogWorld starting tomorrow in New York, I’ve excerpted sections for PR and marcom pros to keep in mind for the next few days and beyond.
What Makes Blogger Outreach So Valuable?
Targeted —There’s a lot of value in having a clear and precise understanding of whom you’re reaching with your message. Blogger outreach allows you to zone in on the specific interests that you’d like to reach. Remember, there is a blog for everything, or so it seems, each driving a specialized audience.
Long-Term Relationships — When you work with a blogger, you’re getting more than just a blog post. It’s a relationship that you can turn to time and time again. If the blogger’s first experience with your company was positive, there is a greater chance that they’ll want to work together again.
Trust — Bloggers tend to develop loyal readerships who trust them and their opinions. Trust is transferable. If a reader trusts a blogger, and that blogger trusts your product, the reader in turn will trust your product. When a blogger shares a positive opinion about your product, their readers will be inclined to adopt the same opinion. Of course, it works both ways. If a blogger is being honest and doesn’t like your product, his or her readers may dislike it as well.
More Accessible — While it should be much easier to get an email in front of an average blogger than a big publication, there are bloggers who receive hundreds of pitches every week. That’s why it’s often smart to target the middle range of bloggers. They’ll be the ones who will be excited to find targeted opportunities and make an impact for your business.
The Network Effect — Bloggers and journalists are flocking to Twitter these days. It can make them more accessible, though many mainstream journalists and high traffic bloggers aren’t too responsive. The middle range of bloggers are the ones that will likely respond to you and interact on social networks.
5 Steps for Successful Blogger Outreach
The first step in blogger outreach is to find the bloggers you might want to reach. All of the bloggers you find at this stage may not be the ones you ultimately pitch, but rather serve as a starting point to determine whom you might want to reach out to later.
Find as many bloggers as possible in your industry. In some niches, you may not find many. Even so, this step will allow you to get the big picture of the bloggers in the space.
This is the most important step in your entire campaign. The quality of your research will determine whether you’ll be successful in your outreach.
It’s important to learn everything you can about each blogger to help you identify the right bloggers for each particular campaign — the bloggers who will actually appreciate your story — and to enable you to make your pitch as personalized as possible.
So what information should you look up? You don’t necessarily need all the following information, but the more you can learn, the better.
- What does the blogger write about?
- What kinds of posts does he or she write? Reviews? Opinion? Lists?
- How “professional” is the blogger? Does he or she make money, have ads and/or appear to have worked with businesses in the past?
- Who is the blogger’s audience? What are the readers’ age, location, gender and other demographics?
- Is the blogger influential on other social networks? What is his or her total reach?
The more professional bloggers are on the lookout for great stories and opportunities, so they will be receptive to a pitch that’s targeted and personalized. In this instance, engaging is less important.
For many bloggers, it’s personal. Engaging first is important. How?
- Comment on their blog posts
- Reply to their tweets and retweet their links
- Email them
- Involve them in your project from the start
All your hard work to this point can go down the drain if you don’t do this part correctly. But if you’ve done the research and engaged the relevant the bloggers, the pitch becomes easy.
Here are several things to remember when pitching a blogger:
- Write captivating email subject lines.
- Always personalize the email message.
- Remind them of previous connections.
- Beauty in brevity. Keep it short.
- Be a knowledgeable and helpful resource.
- There are more channels than email.
- Make the pitch about the blogger and his/her readers.
Be sure to know when the blogger writes about you. Then, appropriately join, but not hijack, the conversations and content sharing. Help them spread the post across social platforms.
The content of this post was extracted from material provided by BlogDash, a media database built to help brands and bloggers connect with each other. Bloggers choose which kinds of opportunities they’re open to being pitched about and brands can search for the right bloggers for their projects and campaigns.